Seriously?!? For f***s sake, is this really where we’re headed as a society?!?
To recap: U.K. department chain Primark pulled from its stores a Walking Dead T-shirt (image below) that a customer complained was “racist” and “offensive.”
The shirt featured Negan’s signature Lucille baseball bat and his victim-selecting rhyme “Eeny meeny miny moe, catch a tiger by the toe…” The problem? About 100 years ago, that rhyme commonly used the n-word instead of “tiger.”
The Primark customer who complained about the shirt told The Sheffield Star, “This image relates directly to the practice of assaulting black people in America … It is directly threatening of a racist assault, and if I were black and were faced by a wearer I would know just where I stood.” While Primark replied it was pulling the shirt from store shelves and issued a statement: “The T-shirt in question is licensed merchandise for the U.S. television series, The Walking Dead, and the quote and image are taken directly from the show. Any offense caused by its design was wholly unintentional and Primark sincerely apologizes for this.”
Somebody Slap me.
No, better yet, slap that idiot customer (who apparently wasn’t even Black!) who complained about the shirt.
And then slap the owners of Primark for caving in to this.
This even worse than the minor flap over Eric Braeden’s tweet last month. At least that did have a racial slur in it (even if it was taken out of context,as I believe). But this is just silly.
Let me state for the record, for those who don’t know, that I am a 40-something year old Black person, who grew up in a mostly Black neighborhood (which I still live in, but it’s mostly Hispanic now) and went to elementary, junior, and senior High Schools that had mostly Black student populations (also now mostly Hispanic). I’ve heard and use the eeny meeny mini moe nursery rhyme approximately one bajillion times (give or take). Always used completely innocently and harmlessly. I honestly never even new of the original racist version of the rhyme until 2004. That’s when a couple of Black women sued a flight attendant for saying it to them. You can read about that here:
Jurors find no discrimination in flight attendant’s rhyme use.
I heard about that case, when it was first filed, on a talk radio show that I was listening to at the time. And I thought that was stupid too (as you can see, thankfully, the women lost the case). Somehow I’d gone over 3 decades never knowing that it was originally catch a nigger, not catch a tiger. And I daresay most people today don’t know that either, and therefor don’t have any negative intentions when using it. This is just one of the latest examples of people actively looking for a reason to be offended by something. And that’s trend that is becoming far too prevalent in our society, and I’m sick of it. Some people really need to get a life.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to order one of those t-shirts. Except I’m going to get a cool black one.
Before getting to the history of the phrase, I was like, I don’t get the problem. I’m black, didn’t know about this phrase and really could care less. Times change, society changes. There are bigger issues than a phrase on a t-shirt that would have been offensive three decades ago. Hell, I wasn’t even born yet. Oh yes I was, I was an infant I think. Anyway, they should have ignored the outrage. The person was probably a crazy with nothing else better to do. I’ve experienced true racism before, and this just ain’t it.